“The rain to the wind said,
You push and I'll pelt.'
They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt,
And lay lodged--though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt.”
The Connemara pony is descended, it is said, from horses that Viking soldiers brought to Ireland. Another theory goes that they have Spanish blood, that Irish ponies were cross-bred with Andalusian horses that arrived on Spanish galleons. I was introduced to this exotic and special breed which has forged its own identity and is quite present at the Maam Cross Fair in Maam Cross, Galway Ireland. The horse fair at Maam Cross is one of Ireland's most historic fairs, dating back to a time long forgotten.
The unique one-day fair stems from the tradition of local farmers selling their surplus produce at the crossroads in order to supplement the meager living which they eeked from the rocky Connemara landscape.
Proud, hard-working and with storytelling faces, these Irishmen remind me of my rural roots and I cannot wait to someday return to the West of Ireland. A stop into Peacocke's hotel for a pint of plain is a must as the venue has become synonymous with the fair.
"It takes two men to make one brother."
From my numerous visits to the Leahy family farm in Lahinch, Ireland . . .
You promised me a thing that is not possible,
that you would give me gloves of the skin of a fish;
that you would give me shoes of the skin of a bird;
and a suit of the dearest silk in Ireland.
~Lady Augusta Gregory
This photograph was taken during the exploration of abandoned irish farmhouses in County Clare, Ireland and soon to be featured in the Vanishing Light of Ireland book.
“Family likeness has often a deep sadness in it. Nature, that great tragic dramatist, knits us together by bone and muscle, and divides us by the subtler web of our brains; blends yearning and repulsion; and ties us by our heart-strings to the beings that jar us at every movement.”
“Knot by knot I untie myself from the past
And let it rise away from me like a balloon.
What a small thing it becomes.
What a bright tweak at the vanishing point...”
Púca . . .
Púca in Irish is an Irish folklore shape shifting creature. The púca has the power of human speech, and has been known to give advice and lead people away from harm. Considered to be bringers both of good and bad fortune, they could either help or hinder rural communities
An example of the púca as a benevolent or protective entity comes in tales where the creature intervenes before a terrible accident or before the person is about to happen upon a malevolent fairy or spirit. In several of the regional variants of the stories where the púca is acting as a guardian, the púca identifies itself to the bewildered human. This is particularly noteworthy as it is in contrast to the lore of many other folkloric beings, who guard their identities or names from humans
I have been blessed to travel to the Ireland home of the late artist David Lang on numerous locations. During our last trip, this magnificent horse kept appearing at different locations, mysterious and insistent.
“What we do see depends mainly on what we look for. ... In the same field the farmer will notice the crop, the geologists the fossils, botanists the flowers, artists the coloring, sportmen the cover for the game. Though we may all look at the same things, it does not all follow that we should see them.”
Somethings are worth a little effort and this weekend was one of them!
Despite their flight being delayed in Chicago, Allie and Zach rallied and we did their engagement shoot today.
They both have fond memories and roots of the Cape and now we all share one more. Congratulations to these two special people!
There is a time of day inside the Queen’s Chamber of Blarney Castle in Cork, Ireland
where the sunlight bathes across the stone floor among shadows deep
perhaps with a promise of something more . . .
"Beyond the Queen’s Chamber”
17x24" framed in gold leaf frame with linen mat, limited edition, signed by artist.